How to Make Dinner for Mormon Missionaries

So you've either volunteered for this assignment in church, or you are currently investigating the church, and have invited the missionaries over for a dinner time discussion. Either way, hosting missionaries is similar to having regular company over, with a few subtle differences. Here's how to do it.


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    Set up an appointment. Missionaries keep a tight schedule, and they often spend the day walking or biking to appointments. Confirm what time you can expect them, and ask what time they need to leave your home. Even if they don't have an appointment after dinner, most missionaries wake up extremely early in the morning and go to bed early.
    • During the same conversation, you should clarify whether either missionary has any allergies or foods he can't stand. This will prevent any embarrassment on your part, as well as helping you show courtesy toward the missionaries.
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    Start planning your menu. You will be dealing with college age boys and girls, who for the most part will eat anything, and in large quantities. Since they do a lot of physical work everyday, and don't make many complicated meals at home, gear your dinner towards something hearty and nutritious. Don't go with anything too complicated or that you haven't made before.
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    Buy all ingredients in advance. Last minute trips to the store will upset your scheduling.
    • Be aware that missionaries are not allowed to drink alcohol, coffee, or tea (and some may avoid all caffeine). If you want to offer them a beverage other than water, you can choose sodas, juice or milk.
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    Turn off the TV and the radio. During their time in the field, missionaries are not allowed to watch television, listen to popular music or keep up on current events. If you want to break up the silence, soft classical music is an appropriate choice. Or, look for free online streaming of music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
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    Greet the missionaries. When the missionaries arrive, make sure that they have a secure place to park their car or bikes, and invite them inside. "Checking" their coats and backpacks is a nice gesture as well.
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    If dinner is not quite ready, direct the missionaries to your sitting room. Have anyone not in the kitchen (such as children) attend to the missionaries, offering them water or another beverage.
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    Start dinner with a prayer. When the meal is ready, the missionaries will ask you (or your spouse) if you'd like to offer a prayer over the food. You can accept, or you can ask if one of them would do it.
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    Keep the mood light. Once the prayer is said, you can conduct yourself as you would at an informal dinner with friends. The discussion doesn't have to be about the LDS Church, but you can ask the missionaries about their families, where they are from, hobbies, and the like. Just avoid topics such as current trends or politics.
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    Have dessert. The missionaries might want to offer you a small spiritual message after dinner, and dessert provides a good segue. Even something as simple as ice cream will be welcomed.


  • Don't invite the missionaries over to play video games or watch TV, or for other recreational activities. They're not allowed to do many of these activities on a mission, and the rest they can only participate in on their "preparation days."
  • If you have teenagers or single young adults in the house of a gender opposite of the missionaries, do not leave them alone together. This is against the rules. Even light flirting is prohibited on a mission.

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Categories: Dinner Parties | Mormonism